Michiana Covid-19 cases rising again

Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 6:07 PM EDT
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(WNDU) - Just looking at the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) website won’t give the public the full extent of the current Covid-19 caseload, according to health officials.

“We honestly don’t know, at this point, how many cases there are because the testing has changed so much from where we were a year ago. Back then, you had to go into an office, and tests were hard to come by, and every test that was taken was reported. And we had a record of all the positive cases in the community. Now with the abundance of at-home tests that aren’t recorded, someone can test positive at home, and it doesn’t get reported to the health department,” explained Dr. Dale Patterson, MD, vice president of medical affairs at Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Mark Fox, M.D., deputy health officer of the St. Joseph County Health Department, points to various factors for the spike in cases.

“Different strains of COVID-19 that have emerged that are highly transmissible, people have kind of essentially abandoned almost all mitigation strategies. So very few people in masks anywhere. There are a lot of gatherings, you know, graduations and other things this time of year that bring a lot of people together,” said Fox.

Fox said he’s heard reports of people disregarding Covid-19 safety protocols after being infected.

“Even if they’re testing at home, they’re not necessarily heeding the recommendations of how long to be out of circulation or people who are exposed who should be in masks for 10 days following an exposure,” he said.

To see if you’re still contagious, Fox recommends those who have tested positive to take a rapid test after day five.

“Most people don’t do that. But that would be certainly the, the safest strategy that puts the fewest other people at risk,” Fox said.

Covid-related hospitalizations aren’t nearly as worse as they were last winter, but the ISDH website shows Michiana hospitals are slowly admitting more patients with the virus.

“The people we’re seeing in the hospital and the people who are dying are unvaccinated,” Patterson stated.

Patterson said Memorial Hospital is busy again, as people are getting procedures they’d postponed due to the pandemic. He said being vaccinated ensures patients can receive the best possible care.

“The healthcare community is still very stressed from two years in the pandemic,” he remarked. “The less patients we have with COVID in the hospital, the better we’re going to be able to give great care to patients who don’t have COVID, who still need to come in and get the things that we can do here.”

Unity Gardens Covid-19 vaccine clinic

Unity Gardens is hosting a Covid-19 vaccine clinic on Wednesday, June 8th from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Boosters will also be provided.

Unity Gardens is located at 3701 Prast Boulevard (off Ardmore Trail) in South Bend.

Pre-registration is available online. Walk-ins are welcome.

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